Crosshatch builds strong communities through the intersections of art, farming, ecology and economy.
formerly Institute for Sustainable Living, Art & Natural Design (ISLAND)
Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology envisions communities that are grounded in place: where people connect through stories, music, art, shared work, and food, and where the economy and culture are rooted in restoration of the earth and its people.
Jonathan Scheel is reviving local grain systems from seeding to eating (and drinking) in partnership with area farms and businesses. Come see a newly restored and installed 1913 belt driven Meadows Mill and sifting equipment in action and consider taking home some fresh stone-ground flour for your next kitchen project. Scheel Family Farm grows wheat, rye and other small grains on 40 leased acres for bakery and distilleries in Northern Michigan.
We have rescheduled and reopened registration for our Flowers track for Field School Spring!
Crosshatch Field Schools are hands-on, on-farm learning days—going beyond the basics to support intermediate learners, but friendly enough for homestead-scale growers. Field Schools rely on experienced instructors and small group sizes, with both classroom time and field work for an in-depth education. Included is a local food lunch and a post-workshop social hour to continue the discussion in an informal way.
Field School Flowers Agenda
9:30 to 10:00 am: Coffee and greeting
10 am to 12:30 pm: Morning Sessions
12:30 to 1:30 pm: Local lunch
1:30 to 4:00 pm: Afternoon Sessions
4:00 to 5:00 pm: Social hour with drinks and snacks
Cut Flowers with Rachel Cross of Spirit of Walloon Market Garden: The market for flowers is shifting toward the local. Learn how to add gorgeous, ecologically-grown flowers to your operation, either for wholesale markets, event-based sales, or just for your own pleasure. Rachel will cover selection, propagation and the all-important harvest and post-harvest handling techniques, and discuss growing tips for field, hoophouse and greenhouse. See the fruits of your knowledge you gathered with your own fresh cut flowers by this time next year.
Natalya Aho has built up her business through small scale systems for low-impact and efficiency by implementing low till practices, raised beds, landscape fabric mulching and greenhouse growing. At Madcrow Market Garden we invite you to connect with like minds, hearts, and hands about experiences scaling up from gardening for your household, to grow enough to provide for your community. As a mostly one person operation, Natalya mostly uses hand tools to produce veggies, berries, herbs, and more that she sells at the East Jordan and Central Lake farmers markets.
Join John and Bailey for a tour through their greenhouses to learn about the sustainable systems that support their year-round vegetable production - they even yield tomatoes and cucumbers in May. Lakeview Hill Farm is committed to certified organic vegetable production and renewable energy systems including a solar array and high-efficiency gasification wood boiler. We we will also discuss their process of acquiring land to start this farm as first-generation farmers in the context of broader efforts for farmland stewardship in this region.
Students enrolled in the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District (TBAISD) Agriscience and Natural Resources program will set up a special showcase of their hands-on experiential learning in animal science, plant science, and natural resources. Please join us for a tour of the TBAISD Greenhouse to connect with these future leaders who will present on the learning from the first month back at school. Topics they plan highlight will include poinsettia growth and production, poultry production, operation of the Farmbot (automated vegetable management system), aquaculture production, and Future Farmers of America (FFA) Chapter operations.
Join us for two events—a Friday night talk (event listed separately) and a full-day Saturday intensive as we answer these questions: What is coppicing? How does it work? What kinds of coppice systems might we use? How can we establish them? How does coppicing effect ecosystem functions?
Coppicing—the intentional harvest and management of woody resprouts to produce small diameter wood—has at least an 8,000-year history in Europe. The breadth of possible products from woody resprouts ranges widely—fencing, garden poles, charcoal and gates to name a few. Coppicing is also a valuable tool for responding to climate change and could be used on every small farm.